In Washington, the White House said that the risk of a Russian invasion of Ukraine remains high, with the deployment of nearly 100,000 Russian soldiers, and the United States will publish within 24 hours intelligence information indicating that Russia may seek to create a pretext to justify the invasion.
“The drums of war are resounding, and the tone of the rhetoric is becoming more and more intense,” Michael Carpenter, the US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said after talks with Russia in Vienna.
“The risk of a military invasion is high,” US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters.
“No dates have been set for any further talks. We must consult with allies and partners first,” he added.
For its part, Russia said that the dialogue is continuing but has reached a dead end, while seeking to persuade the West to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and stop the alliance’s expansion in Europe, which are demands that the United States has described as impossible.
“At this point, it’s really frustrating,” Russian Ambassador Alexander Lukashevich told reporters after the meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the third stop in a series of East-West talks this week.
He warned of “catastrophic consequences” if the two sides did not agree on what Russia called security red lines, but added that Moscow had not yet given up on diplomacy and would rather accelerate it.
Earlier, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau told the 57-nation security forum, “It seems that the threat of war in the OSCE region is greater now than at any time in the past 30 years.”
His comments highlighted the extent of European concern about Russia’s buildup of nearly 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine. Russia denies planning to invade Ukraine, but the military buildup has forced the United States and its allies to the negotiating table.
There was no breakthrough at the Vienna meeting, which followed talks between Russia and the United States in Geneva on Monday, and a meeting between Russia and NATO in Brussels on Wednesday, Rau said.